AMD’s powerful Zen processors could take down Skylake

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AMD revealed that its upcoming generation of Zen processors is alive and well, showcasing an early prototype of a Zen CPU at the event.

The chips are code-named Summit Ridge, and will be aimed at high-end gamers and hardware enthusiasts – the same market which Intel’s Skylake processors currently dominate.

Zen architecture

AMD’s upcoming Summit Ridge chips are manufactured using a 14nm FinFET process, which has proven to offer increased performance compared to previous technologies.

Zen chips will use the AM4 socket, which is built for forward compatibility, allowing users to upgrade to future, more powerful AMD processors without replacing their motherboard.

AMD’s upcoming processors signify its return to the high-end desktop market, and the first time in years that the company will challenge Intel’s tight grasp on the CPU market.

The Zen CPU lineup will feature a powerful FX-series processor aimed directly at high-end users, while also including more value-oriented CPUs across the market.


According to AMD, the Zen CPU will feature the following:

  • Totally new, high-performance design.
  • Simultaneous Multithreading (SMT) for high throughput.
  • New high-bandwidth, low latency cache system.
  • Energy-efficient FinFET Design scales from client to enterprise-class products.

The Zen architecture will allow AMD to produce processors across the market.

Summit Ridge CPUs will combine up to 32 physical cores.

At Computex 2016, AMD unveiled a Zen CPU prototype which featured 8 physical cores and was relatively stable, being able to render video and run demos.

The major performance improvement of the Zen architecture is the 40% increase in instructions per clock compared to AMD’s previous generation of processors.

Zen will also feature simultaneous multithreading, technology which Intel has used in its high-end processors for some time.


Intel’s Skylake processors have been out for a fair amount of time, and are currently the best high-end gaming processors on the market.

They are relatively expensive however, and have not been met with any direct competition yet.

AMD’s Zen architecture boasts a massive increase in processing power over the previous generation, while Intel’s generational improvements have generally made small incremental improvements to IPC and power-efficiency.

Zen’s 40 percent increase in ICP coupled with its wide field of implementation could mean that Intel may not maintain its iron grip over the CPU market for much longer.

Expect to see more details on Zen and how it compares to Skylake closer to the the new architecture’s release.

AMD’s Summit Ridge Zen CPUs are expected to release in late 2016.

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AMD’s powerful Zen processors could take down Skylake

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